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Settling In: Highlighting 50 Years of Kitimat's History

Corporation of the District of Kitimat Infrastructure

"The crash of falling trees, the rumble and clatter of earthmoving monsters, the subdued rhythm of power saws and the din of a thousand hammers was the music of the town from early 1954..." Kitimat - Kemano: Five Years of Operation, 1954-1959, Alcan, p.38.

At the time of Prince Philip's visit on August 3, 1954, sixty-eight families were in permanent homes in Nechako - courtesy of Alcan’s home building program.

With the birth of a town, infrastructure had to be set up.  By-laws were passed, a contract with the RCMP was signed, the School Board was elected, and a bridge over the Kitimat River was constructed.  Infrastructure services included a hospital, schools, fire department, police, and town protection against invasion or disaster.  Efficient overland transportation was also needed.  The rail line was operating by the time of the Last Spike celebration, July 8, 1955, and the Terrace-Kitimat highway opened in 1957.

Telephone, curbs and gutters on roads, paving, bridges, culverts, heat, light, water, snow clearing, a cemetery, sanitary and storm sewers, a waste disposal system, and sidewalks along streets were all needed.  At the time the Public Safety Building opened in 1956, it housed the District of Kitimat fire hall, police station, and municipal offices.

Ceremonial Burning of the Municipal Debentures

Kitimat Reeve Sam Lindsay begins the ceremonial burning of the municipal debentures totaling $2 million for the Haisla Bridge.  All had just been paid in full, November 14, 1962. 

Haisla-Kuldo intersection gets new lights

Power District crew erect light standards along the centre island at Haisla & Kuldo, February 9, 1961.  The aluminum standards came in by CN rail. 

300 Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees

The beautification of Kitimat - Minori Nishi (centre), owner of Towne Cleaners, makes a gift of 300 Japanese flowering cherry trees to the District of Kitimat, May 12, 1960.  Joining him are Norman Barber (left) and Municipal Manager Art Currie (right). 

New District of Kitimat Snow Blower

New District snow blower at work in front of the Kitimat General Hospital, January 2, 1964. 

Snow Clearing Equipment

District Foreman Jim Whelan identifies the new District snow clearing system, December 13, 1968

District of Kitimat contest for Medallion design

A District of Kitimat design contest began November 1, 1962 for a souvenir medallion in anticipation of Kitimat's tenth anniversary in 1963. Shown are some examples for entrants, courtesy of the Northern Sentinel staff artist.

Columbia Bridge

Dismantling the Kuldo Bridge over Sumgas Creek, 1967. The District of Kitimat deemed it unsafe and installed a culvert in its place.

Kitimat River Flood

The Kitimat River overflowed its banks in October 1966 and flooded Service Centre for a brief period. Kitimat-Gordon Hotel Manager George Moore (standing) joined a waiting clean-up crew at 6 a.m. in the hotel's main beverage room.

The Canadian Flag

The District Public Safety Building is praised for its well-kept grounds, August 31, 1961.

Paving Pintail Street

An historic moment for Kitimat - paving Pintail, May 1956.